The Liz’es Do Nippon!

Mum has come and gone…

I remember when my mum told me that she had bought her plane ticket for her visit to Japan around Christmas time. Back then I thought “ggeezzz, that’s so far away, why are we even talking about this now?!” Well April came and so did mum!

Having mom over has been one of the highlights of my year here. I am so glad that she was able to see what I’ve been up to (I brought her to one of my kindergarten classes), to meet my friends and co-workers and some of my students. Now when we talk on the phone she knows what I’m actually talking about… is great!

On our first weekend mom, her friend Cathy and I went to Hiroshima and Miyajima. Hiroshima was great as always. Every time I go to Hiroshima I have a great time, just such an easy city to navigate. While in Hiroshima we of course had Okonomiyaki and even took some purikura pictures!! (my new favourite hobby by the way).. Unfortunately I don’t have a copy of the pictures as I gave one to my mom and the other to Cathy. In Miyajima we got lucky ¬†as the tide was the highest I have ever seen it. So I finally got to see Miyajima the way is supposed to be seen! We also got to see two Japanese style weddings in 30 minutes. Japanese style weddings seen through my foreigner eyes are in my opinion out of this world! Beautiful kimonos that keep changing, lots of beautiful people, not to mention you get stared at like no other.. not only do you have your photographer taking pictures of you, you also have all these tourists trying to get a shot of you. Although I must say that it wouldn’t kill them to smile a little… they all looked so serious!

While in Niihama we had a lot of dinner invitations with my students. They were all so incredibly kind as per usual and we had wonderful food, and drinks almost on a daily basis. Mom was a trooper too, she tried everything that was given to her at least once (even nato.. gross!) One of the nicest meals was shared with my Japanese teacher Noriko and her husband Masaki. Noriko has got to be my Japanese mom; from the day we met we have built an unbelievable friendship. To be honest I’m not learning a heck of a lot of Japanese. She speaks English really well, and has lived in both Jordan and Thailand, so to me she’s fascinating and we spend most of our time just talking and drinking tea. So for our lunch with my mom, she made tempura Udon, after she heard me say that it is my favourite type of Udon. She also kept my mom company while I had to go teach a class and sounds as though the ladies had a great time together! I think saying goodbye to Noriko when the time comes for me to leave will be the most difficult thing for me to do, so we enjoy every single cup of tea that we have together!

After about 10 days in Niihama, we went for our amazing week in Thailand, but that requires a whole new post. The nicest thing about having mom here was to be able to see a familiar face that reminded me of home and who kept reminding me that whenever I feel that I have seen, experienced and explored all the places that I want to see I will ALWAYS have a home to go back to. I also realized that having visitors over is really fun, so everyone come visit!

Keeping you posted!